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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Appeals court nominee should not be rushed

What had been a rather ugly political game of tit for tat regarding judicial appointments in the U.S. Senate appears to have subsided somewhat.

Although there are still complaints about Senate delays in the confirmation of court appointments, the number of vacancies is now at a 13-year low.

That does not mean, however, that every nominee should be rushed through without sensible review. One nomination that deserves particular care is that of William H. Pryor to the U.S. Court of appeals.

According to the Los Angeles Times, here is a sampling of the questionable legal thinking offered up by Pryor during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month:

  • Congress, Pryor argued, should not be in the business of public education or the control of street crime. So much for federal money for schools or police.
  • The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, upholding the legal right to abortion, "is the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history."
  • He argued for repeal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which allows the federal government to review state and local election procedures that may impact minorities.
  • He supported the Texas anti-sodomy law struck down last week by the Supreme Court.

There is more, but you get the picture. If ever there was a case for caution, this is the one.